If you live close by, maybe you can just buy them a good semi auto, and rack the slide for them once and then let it be. That probably sounds strange to those of us who load and unload our guns daily, but for an older arthritic couple, I can see them just loading it and leaving it.
Also, if you get them a Glock, the slide is so boxy, you could show them how to rack the slide by placing the corner on the edge of a table, and pushing down
As others have said, they will need to try them out and see what works.
The Ruger LCR has a much easier to pull trigger, compared to some of the other revolvers out there. With lighter loads, recoil should not be an issue, even with this gun's light weight.
As mentioned, a heavier revolver with a trigger action job to lighten the pull weight is an option as well - and it might allow them to continue to use what they already have.
With arthritis, I would steer clear of semi autos. The manual of arms requires more manipulation, and there is an increased chance of "limp wristing" the gun due to the arthritis.
I would think something like a CZ 83 would be ideal. Its fairly easy to rack the slide and the steel frame helps absorb some of the recoil. I'd steer clear of polymer pocket 380s (LCP, Kel-Tec, Kahr P380, etc.) that don't soak up much recoil.
Here's some helpful links:
I'd seriously consider the Sig P238 and not worry about the thumb safety issue at all. Since the Sig is a direct clone of the Colt Mustang, you should be able the leave the gun with a loaded chamber and the hammer down (half-cock notch actually). I carried a Mustang in that condition, either in a pocket or an ankle holster for years. The hammer is easy to cock from the half-cocked notch and I've never shot a .380 with a softer recoil than the Mustang. Should be the same for the Sig. IMHO
Take your folks to a well stocked gun shop and let them see what they can and can not use for a battery of arms.
For something compact and easily carried I'd have to go along with the Sig P238. It's very easy to cycle the slide, very easy to shoot and has the least perceived recoil of any pocket 380 under a pound.... and pay no attention to those who would discount it because it's single action and has a thumb safety. It's all a matter of training and practice... and if someone is not willing to train and practice then perhaps they should not really be carrying a firearm.
Work with them and let THEM decide what feels best to them... and whatever they choose pay more than $175 for it.
Older people have a hard time racking the slide,Beretta tomcat 32 acp while it must use 130 fpe ammo,tip up barrel means no racking.
Easy to operate load or unload,little recoil.
Also available in 22lr,25 acp and in the cheeta as a 380 bit pricy on it though.
I have a Taurus pt22 which is a copy,due to old arthur,can rack slides just not lots of times in a row.
I would discount options with thumb safeties due to the arthritis issue, perhaps you missed that little detail?
Originally Posted by whoppo
As for training, maybe you train enough to feel confident with a thumb safety as well as other members, but remember we are making recommendations for an elderly couple that may not train as much as you do.
The tip up barrel berettas can be had in 32, they are very easy to use
First thing I'd do is take the current carry gun to a good gunsmith, ask him to measure the trigger pull, and explain the situation, then ask how light he can get the pull down to without compromising the reliability of the gun. If that doesn't work, Beretta tomcat is a .32 with a tip up barrel, or you might try a single action revolver, While I don't know if it's the case on all of them, the single actions I've fired were far easier to cock than the double actions I've fired in single action mode.
Trigger work sounds like the answer.